TSA discovers 2 loaded firearms this week at Mitchell International Airport security checkpoints

MILWAUKEE -- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered two loaded firearms in different passengers’ carry-on bags at security screening checkpoints at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport this week.

On Tuesday, Aug. 21, an Illinois man brought a .40 caliber Glock, loaded with 13 rounds, to one of the airport’s checkpoints in a backpack. The next day, Wednesday, Aug. 22, A Waukesha man brought a 9mm Kimber Micro firearm to a checkpoint in a carry-on bag.

"Unfortunately, we continue to see firearms at checkpoints across the country," said Carrie Harmon, Transportation Security Administration.

So far this year, six guns have been found at Mitchell International Airport. In 2017, 15 firearms were discovered ther.

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Did you know that TSA officers discovered an average of more than 76 firearms a week in carry-on bags in 2017? The pictures here are just a handful of some of the firearms discovered in carry-on bags this year. Just last week, 94 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags around the nation. ... While firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags, you can pack them in your checked baggage as long as you meet the packing guidelines at TSA.gov. Some airline policies may differ from TSA's. We strongly suggest travelers contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and to check local laws related to the carrying and transport of firearms. ... As a refresher, carry-on bags go into the cabin of the plane with you. Checked bags go into the cargo hold of the plane where passengers have no access. ... Please note that conceal carry permits do not apply to commercial aircraft. ... When firearms are discovered at the checkpoint, we contact law enforcement and they decide what happens to the traveler based on background checks, interviews and local laws. ... A firearm at the checkpoint could lead to fines, arrests, missed flights or all of the above. TSA does not confiscate any firearms. The responding Law Enforcement Officers take control of the firearm. If you're curious as to what happens to the firearms, you would need to contact local law enforcement. ... As far as knives and other prohibited items, they are usually transferred to another federal agency without reimbursement, donated or abandoned or destroyed. Typically the items are donated to state surplus agencies for their sale or disposal, in which case the state keeps any profit from sales of those items. You may want to check with the  surplus agency in your state at: bit.ly/gsapropertyforsale ... #TSA #Firearms #ConcealCarry #Guns #TravelTips

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"You cannot bring a firearm loaded or unloaded, doesn't matter if you have a permit or not, in terms of whether or not you can take it through the checkpoint," said Harmon.

TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay issued the following statement in a news release:

"The two catches this week bring the total to six firearms discovered so far this year at MKE security checkpoints. In 2017, we intercepted 15 firearms, so while the numbers appear to be trending lower this year, even one firearm at an airport security checkpoint is too many."

TSA officials say firearms can only be transported in a checked bag that is declared to the airline at the ticket counter and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided container. Firearm parts, ammunition, and realistic replicas also are not allowed through security checkpoints, but can travel in checked bags.

TSA has the authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $13,000 against a passenger who brings a firearm to the checkpoint.  The average penalty for a loaded firearm is $3,900, and the average for an unloaded is about half that amount. Any determination about a criminal charge is up to law enforcement. For more information, visit the prohibited items and firearms and ammunition pages at tsa.gov.

Both men who brought the weapons said they simply forgot it was in their bags. One was a CCW permit holder, he was cited. The other did not have a permit and was arrested. Both face thousands in TSA penalties.